KDDI to Launch E-book Store, 3G E-book Reader

Dec 22, 2010
Takuya Otani, Nikkei Electronics
The e-book delivery service will be launched Dec 25, 2010.
The e-book delivery service will be launched Dec 25, 2010.
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]
The "biblio Leaf SP02" e-book reader is capable of 3G and wireless LAN communications.
The "biblio Leaf SP02" e-book reader is capable of 3G and wireless LAN communications.
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

KDDI Corp will start the "Lismo Book Store" electronic book (e-book) delivery service Dec 25, 2010, for Japanese users.

For the service, the company will release the "biblio Leaf SP02," an e-book reader featuring a 6-inch electronic paper (e-paper) device. At first, the e-book delivery service will be available only to the users of the biblio Leaf SP02.

Lismo Book Store Offers Same Contents as Sony's Reader Store

The Lismo Book Store provides the e-book delivery service in collaboration with booklista, a joint venture of KDDI, Sony Corp, Toppan Printing Co Ltd and The Asahi Shimbun Company. Specifically, the contents that booklista collects from publishers are sold at the Lismo Book Store. Therefore, it will deal with almost the same contents as Sony's "Reader Store," which also sells the contents collected by booklista.

At first, about 20,000 contents will be available at the Lismo Book Store. The number of contents is the same as those available at the Reader Store. And KDDI plans to increase the number to about 100,000 within fiscal 2011.

The Lismo Book Store can be used only with the biblio Leaf SP02 at first, but KDDI intends to offer the service for the users of the "IS Series" smartphones from April 2011. Furthermore, the company plans to realize a system that enables users to view the contents they purchased on multiple devices.

The format of the contents is XMDF, which was developed by Sharp Corp. The Lismo Book Store offers about 2,000 free contents in addition to paid contents. Also, during the period from Dec 25, 2010, to March 31, 2011, paid e-book contents can be downloaded at half the prices.

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Communication fee is ¥525 per month

The biblio Leaf SP02 e-book reader is capable of 3G and wireless LAN communications. The Lismo Book Store can be accessed by using the e-book reader, and contents can be directly downloaded to it.

The communication fee is ¥525 (approx US$6.29) with a contract term of two years. A cancellation fee has to be paid to unsubscribe the service within the contract term. The biblio Leaf SP02 cannot be purchased without subscribing to the 3G communication service, but the Lismo Book Store can be accessed via a wireless LAN, too.

The expected retail price of the e-book reader is about ¥15,000 though there is no manufacturer's suggested retail price. It will be released in Kansai and Okinawa areas Dec 25, 2010, and in Kanto area in early January 2011.

The 6-inch e-paper device has a pixel count of 800 x 600 and is produced by E Ink Corp. A photovoltaic battery is mounted below the screen. By employing an e-paper device, which has a low power consumption, it became possible to read about 50 books (equivalent to 13,000 pages) per charge.

The e-book reader weighs about 282g and measures 198 x 129 x 9.8mm. With a memory of 2 Gbytes, it can store about 3,000 books. It was designed by KDDI and Kaga Electronics Co Ltd and manufactured by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (Foxconn), KDDI said.